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Updated 14 October 2021: The routes have now been announced – follow this link for details
Early yesterday, United Airlines posted a cryptic teaser on Instagram which suggested that the airline would be making some kind of announcement at 08:00 ET today. Well, the appointed hour has now passed and we now know that the cryptic message was just a lead-in to a new video (just posted) that contains clues to help us all guess where United plans to fly to before the official announcement tomorrow at 08:00 ET.
Clues to United’s New Routes
The video, which you’ll find on the airline’s Twitter account (here), runs for a minute and depicts two people getting their carry-on cases mixed up. I’ve watched it a couple of times and think that I’ve spotted a few things that may suggest where the airline plans to fly to and from.
- A backpack in the video has a badge with the Swedish flag which suggests a route to Stockholm, the same bag also has a “Porto” badge and a “Nice” badge suggesting routes to the gateways of fortified wine and the French Riviera…although the latter may just be an adjective and not a destination at all.
- A partly completed crossword puzzle contains the name “Curacao” so unless the airline is hinting at a new cocktail to be served on board, I think it’s safe to assume that the island of Curacao will be getting a new United Airlines service.
- The same crossword puzzle also includes the word “Arsenal” (which may indicate a new route to London as Arsenal are a mediocre soccer team based in North London) and the word “lasagne” which could suggest a new route to Italy (Bologna?)
- In one segment, a decorative whale tail is seen hanging off a lock which could refer to a new route to Hawaii or possibly to Iceland (I have no idea what 13-02-24 represents).
- The video features images from United’s terminal at LAX and a screen showing a flight to Washington Dulles so it’s likely that at least some of the new routes will operate from Los Angeles and Washington DC. The video also appeared to focus for a little too long on a man carrying a cup of coffee, so it’s possible that Seattle will be getting some love from United too.
- Lastly, although I didn’t notice anything which indicated a new service out of Newark, I can’t imagine United launching a variety of new routes across the Atlantic (which is what it looks like the airline is about to do) without including its fortress at EWR so we can probably assume that Newark will be getting new services too.
I’m sure that there are a number of clues that I’ve failed to pick up on and some or all of my guesses are probably way out, but I really don’t have any more time to keep rewatching United’s video and with all being revealed in under 24 hours’ time, I’m happy to leave my guesses where they are.
Did you spot any other clues? What do you think United’s new routes and destinations will be?